Astronomers know the best time to star-gaze is at night. Painters know darkness provides contrast for the light. Light shining in darkness is a theme of the prophet Isaiah. “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned” (Isaiah 9:2).
If you’ve traveled much by air you’ve probably taken off in a dark, cloudy environment, broken the canopy of clouds and been met by radiant light. I love those experiences! They remind me that whatever the darkness, there is Light unwavering above it all.
“The glory of the Lord shone all around them.” Those shepherds must have looked like deer trapped in a car’s headlights. One does not plan for a multitude of heavenly angels irradiating the darkened pasture.
In Christ that which is Above-It-All comes down to us! Later, the baby, grown to be a man, declares, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world” (John 6:51).
The next time He comes more than a few shepherds will witness it. “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first” (1Thes 4:16).
“Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble….”
Steven C Johnson